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Bribery, Corruption and Bureaucratic Hassle: Evidence from Myanmar

Corruption has been found to be the most severe obstacle to business operations, according to a recent survey of over 3,000 firms in Myanmar. This paper sets out to understand the structure of corruption through an econometric analysis of this survey. It finds that firms with higher ‘ability to pay’ (proxied by sales revenue and employee growth) are more likely to pay bribes. While firms with lower ‘refusal power’ (i.e those dependent on bureaucratic permissions to export and import) are more likely to find corruption to be an obstacle.


Digital Dynamism: How IT and Social Media are Enhancing Business Opportunities for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs

As the Sri Lankan economy attempts to transform into a more value-added and knowledge-led one, recent advancements in technology and innovation have created a plethora of new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. This paper provides four case studies of innovative enterprises and initiatives to demonstrate how the digital economy is enhancing the country’s business potential and creating jobs. The firms studied are all start-ups run by young professionals (between 28-35 years) and are specifically unique to show the range of possible benefits.


The Caspian Basin: Legal, Political and Security Concerns, Pipeline Diplomacy and Implications for EU Energy Security

Regions, rich in energy resources, continue to be of crucial interest for our carbon-powered world. There are numerous things at stake to begin with, from international legal status, ownership rights, energy routes, transit corridors, state and corporate interests, environmental hazards and the overall puzzle of energy diplomacy. Additionally, Caspian is troubled with its own specific set of complexities that are listed in this work.


Trade in Value Added: Concepts, Estimation and Analysis

This working paper introduces the concept of Trade in Value Added (TiVA) and presents an initial analysis of TiVA for selected regional ESCAP economies. The paper introduces Global Value Chains (GVCs) and issues for the measurement of trade statistics due to proliferation of GVCs. It further presents the TiVA estimation methodology, as defined in the literature, and provides an overview of the data requirements for estimation. The paper reviews current initiatives on regional / international input-output tables (IOTs) and TiVA analysis, and availability of data in the Asia-Pacific region.


Outward FDI by Indian Manufacturing MNEs: Impacts and Implications

Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by Indian firms has increased significantly in recent years. Such investments by Indian firms have gone to more than 100 host countries. However, little is known about the effects of such OFDI on domestic activity of Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs). The paper investigates the home-country effects of OFDI by Indian manufacturing firms during 2008/09 to 2011/12 using a quasi-experimental technique.


Growing Through Manufacturing: Myanmar’s Industrial Transformation

Abstract: Recent reforms in Myanmar have already shown some positive impacts on the manufacturing sector, which must play a key role in the industrial transformation, including increased investment flows domestically and internationally and the development of fundamental infrastructure for the sector. Government promotion of the development of industrial zones and special economic zones is one of the main development activities for further trade and investment promotion in the manufacturing sector.


Enabling participation of SMEs in international trade and production networks: trade facilitation, trade finance and communication technology

This study aimed at identifying key factors affecting SME participation in direct export and international production networks (IPNs), both globally and in Asia and the Pacific. A global dataset of firm-level data from developing countries was analyzed to identify the main obstacles to establishment and operation of direct and indirect small and medium size exporters. Logit models of SME export and IPN participation revealed the importance of several trade facilitation and related factors.


A selective review of foreign direct investment theories

Abstract: Several theories have been put forward by the researchers to explain foreign direct investment. However, no single theory fits the different types of direct investment or the investment made by a particular multinational corporation or country in any region. This paper traces the evolution of the theories of foreign direct investment (FDI) during the past few decades. An attempt is also made to explain the growth phenomenon of Third World multinational companies. The applicability of the theory differs with the type and origin of investment.


Enter the dragon: Policies to attract Chinese investment

Over the last ten years, Chinese enterprises have become more multi-national in nature. China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has been growing at a phenomenal rate. In 2012, China became the third largest investor, after the US and Japan; and the largest investor among developing countries. How can host governments attract more of this Chinese capital? What are some short to medium term policies that host governments can initiate to make their respective nations attractive to Chinese investors?


A New Policy Framework for Myanmar’s SME

Abstract: Myanmar’s emergence from decades of isolation provides an opportunity to learn from the experiences of its neighbours to guide its economic transition and achieve strong and inclusive growth. The development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is an effective mechanism in achieving socioeconomic growth, but Myanmar poses a list of challenges that need to be overcome first, including poor infrastructure and limited market access.